Kids have their own reasons for liking karate. This neat 50-second video gives several. One thing parents like is that karate builds character. I started as an adult and I have seen my own character strengthen through martial arts.
Merriam-Webster defines character as “moral excellence and firmness.” Larry Roach says, “Our character is who we really are, even when no one is watching.” Here are the top five ways karate builds character:
KARATE BUILDS CHARACTER WITH ACCOUNTABILITY
You simply cannot cheat much at the dojo. Teachers can tell if you know your materials and have practiced. We can see if you know your moves. We hear whether you have learned your required knowledge. When you mess up, you do your own push-ups. And in that case, for kids, you don’t get a great job ticket. Karate builds character because of the ingrained, consistent accountability.
KARATE BUILDS CHARACTER THROUGH THE DOJO KUN
Shungo Sakagawa wrote the Dojo Kun. He also headed-up the first karate school in Okinawa that taught martial arts to the community. We carry on the tradition of following the Dojo Kun and upholding its values. All dojo practitioners are expected to put these values into action. Karate builds character with the tenets of good moral character, honesty, perseverance, respect and restraint.
KARATE BUILDS CHARACTER WITH ROLE MODELS’ EXAMPLES
Our instructors and other higher ranks expect us to follow the Dojo Kun and to do our best, daily. These role models who hold students accountable apply this positive pressure. Students may see these higher-rank people putting these values into action themselves. Karate builds character with higher ranks helping.
KARATE BUILDS CHARACTER WITH A BOOST FROM BELOW
The expectations of higher ranks make us think about our daily actions. But perhaps more motivating is the pressure from your lower ranks and younger students. As you rank up at the dojo you have more people following your example. You become conscious that they observe your actions, attitudes and words. With rank comes responsibility. Karate builds character by giving you the ongoing duty of being a good example.
KARATE BUILDS CHARACTER THROUGH TRADITIONAL VALUES
The phrase “traditional values” has taken on negativity to some people. There are many opposing views and philosophies in society. But if only we would, as a whole, reinforce and use basic traditional values as seen at the dojo into action. Then the world would grow into a better, more civilized place. Karate builds character through traditional values. That’s because it gives the practitioner strong building blocks to make good life choices.
Many of the people I know with the strongest character are martial artists. Unfortunately though, not all martial artists have strong character. (There are all types in the martial arts world.) However, I do know that all of us at our dojo have a way to weigh our daily choices. Additionally I know that we are all encouraged to improve our character. The dojo supports us in consistently taking actions in line with good character.